Leadership Coaching & Development Case Study from the Exponent Leadership Process.
From; “I just cannot get these lazy people to work and I am scared that I will lose everything.”
3 months later; Sales had increased by 8% in the 3-month period. The staff now had clear and distinct goals and tasks to be completed within time frames, allowing for great work and customer service.
John, now 42, had left a high paying job five years ago to start his own clothing business. For the first 2 years business was horrible; John sold off many of his stocks, took out loans and made many sacrifices for his business. Over the past 3 years, things turned around, and the store is now making a profit. There are currently 5 staff members. I was contacted by John because as he said “I just cannot get these lazy people to work and I am scared that I will lose everything.”
Our first conversation lasted over three hours, trying to determine what was working well and what areas needed focus. Following our discussion I interviewed John’s staff to evaluate their skills and perspectives on the situation. It became clear that the staff had the skills and ability to perform the work. The following areas of focus were created:
- Train, consult and coach John on the 7 steps to high performance teams
- Create metrics for feedback loops of success and failure
- Ensure that John will be able to discipline, coach, and re-align staff in a calm, professional and understanding manner
John agreed to the above areas of focus for three months.
During the 3 month period I conducted a mixture of observations: John with staff, staff with customers, and staff when John is not around. Interviews with the staff showed that many were unclear about what John expected as far as good work. While investigating measurements of success for the staff I found that the expected method was prone to John’s mood on that particular day. Thus, there was no objective understanding of good vs. bad work within the store.
Additionally the staff reported that John was prone to sudden mood changes and that they felt John did not know anything about them (the staff). The staff, while liking John as a person, really felt miserable about coming to work and working for John the boss.
I coached John through the 7 steps of High Performance Teams. He learned more about his staff, and created connections of relevancy from their work to their lives, community and families. At the beginning our work together, we created measurements of success and failure for the staff.
Specific Exponent Leadership Process content sections were used:
- Goal Setting and Time Span
- Managing Time: Managing Yourself
- Coaching Underperformance
- Coaching Performance
As John completed each of the content sections we spoke about areas of success and challenge and how to continue to implement his learning into his business.
At the end of the three months, I re-interviewed the staff:
The staff now had clear and distinct goals and tasks to be completed within time frames, allowing for great work and customer service. Sales had increased by 8% in the 3-month period.
They reported marked improvements in John’s interactions with them and their perception of John as a manager. All staff, including John, were happier and felt more connected to each other, the store and their community.
John was able to manage underperforming staff members into high performers by setting goals, and delegating proper tasks that aligned with the person’s values and commitment to the store and work.
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michael cardus is create-learning
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